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Kids In The Hall reminisce

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In a mid-80s Toronto comedy scene dominated by tourist traps like Yuk Yuk’s and Second City, the Kids in the Hall wanted to do something different. They weren’t sure what, but they knew there had to be another way. It was that outsider mindset – frequently combative, always original – that drew its members to one another and kept them together (more or less) for the past 30 years.

“I always say that the Kids in the Hall were the five losers that couldn’t get any work.” – McDonald

“We all come from troubled childhoods. A lot of our dads, mine included, were alcoholics. We exploded from the suburbs, saying, ‘Fuck this shit!’ I guess that’s what people connected with. There is that outsider thing, which is still what we’re doing now. There are a lot of us out there who think family isn’t such a good thing. But that was the anger of getting over our childhoods. Now we’re quite happy guys.” – McCulloch

“We were just born rebels. We wanted to change things. I guess we felt that Second City had gotten stale. Not SCTV. But that was the way it was; we just thought there was another way to do things. I don’t think it was conscious. We decided to write about things they weren’t writing about. I got fired [from Second City] because I’d take my clothes off a lot. They didn’t like that.” – Thompson

“You’d go to Yuk Yuk’s and one person would be fantastic and four people would be horrible. Then there was Second City, which I didn’t viscerally relate to – all those songs and stuff. Then there was some weird fringe stuff going on at the Rivoli. Briane Nasimok was curating a show. And we sort of took it from him and made it our own, which was a prick thing to do.” – McCulloch

“Yuk Yuk’s at the time was the only game in town, but it was closed Mondays. So I think they saw it as an opportunity to do something alternative.” – David Stearn, co-owner, the Rivoli

“Alternative comedy at the time was just aggressively weird. Now I’d call it ‘cable comedy.’ It was just doing your own thing instead of jokes about the post office.” – McKinney

“We did a sketch – oh my god, it was so stupid in retrospect – called The Gun Store: a gun store being robbed by a guy with money. So... the reverse.” – Casimiri

“We always felt like underdogs. That’s our common bond. When we first started as a stage troupe, we’d get better when we hired directors we didn’t like; we could all meet after rehearsal and talk about how much we didn’t like them. We got stronger when it was us against them. I don’t know if that’s a positive thing that makes your life happier.” – McDonald

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One thing's for sure. They are kids no more. 

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